Three men face face felony drug charges in separate incidents
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of disturbing the public peace at his residence in Tafeta — being loud and throwing empty beer bottles at his neighbor’s yard — is now facing multiple charges, including methamphetamine (meth) possession.
Filipo Tolai, 25, made his initial appearance in court last month. He’s charged with unlawful possession of meth, a felony; and three misdemeanors: trespass, third degree assault, and PPD.
Bail is set at $5,000 and the preliminary hearing is next Thursday.
The incident occurred on the night of Nov. 26, 2021, in Futiga, where police were called twice about the disturbances — the first was about loud noises preventing sleep, and the second because the suspect and his friends were loud and yelling profanities at him and his family, and some louvers were shattered to pieces from thrown beer bottles.
When police approached the suspect, he yelled out to the caller, telling him he had no right to call authorities. He also said he is drinking on his land and nobody can tell him what to do.
Officers tried to calm the suspect down, but he continued to be loud and made threatening remarks to the caller. He also pulled his hands away from police when they were trying to escort him out of the house. The suspect continued walking towards the caller’s home, challenging him to a fistfight.
That’s when cops placed him under arrest.
During a standard body search, police felt a hard object in the suspect’s pants pocket. When asked what it was, the suspect responded, “O le paipa e ula ai le aisa” (It’s a pipe used to smoke meth). The glass pipe contained a white crystalline substance that later tested positive for meth.
A man accused of selling hand rolled marijuana cigarettes to two men last year has entered into a plea agreement. Faamanutu Alesana, 42, of Tafuna appeared in court last week for a pretrial conference but pled out instead.
Alesana, a farmer, was initially charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute; and unlawful possession of marijuana. But under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, Alesana pled guilty to a lesser, amended charge, a class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
Alesana admits that on Jan. 21, 2021 in Tafuna, he sold 15 hand rolled marijuana joints — for $15 a piece — to two men he claims are his regular customers.
The case was reported to police by a woman who found 3 joints in her husband’s pocket. A verbal argument erupted between the couple, and it ended with the woman telling police that Alesana is her husband’s cousin, and he’s been selling drugs in the village for years — but nobody has reported it to police out of fear of Alesana and his family.
A search of Alesana’s home and plantation was carried out, where police found drugs, firearms, and drug paraphernalia.
Alesana, who is out on a $5,000 surety bond, will be sentenced next month.
A man who was arrested for disturbing the public peace and later found to be in possession of drugs has entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Naasona Salesa appeared in court last week for a pretrial conference.
He was initially charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, a felony, and two misdemeanors: third degree assault and public peace disturbance. But under a plea agreement, accepted by the court, Salesa pled guilty to the amended, lesser charge of unlawful possession of marijuana, a class D felony that carries a sentence of up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
Salesa, set to be sentenced next month, admits that on the evening of Nov. 28, 2020 at his home in Nuuuli, he had on him two hand rolled marijuana joints when police arrested him for disturbing the public peace
According to terms of the plea agreement, when cops arrived at the scene, Salesa was yelling profanities at his neighbor, with a beer bottle in hand. During a body search, police found two hand rolled marijuana cigarettes on him. Salesa admitted that the joints belonged to him, and he bought them from a man named “Spunky” in Vaitogi.